JenningsBet, a British betting operator, has expressed concern about the potential negative impacts of the proposed statutory levy on the gambling industry. The company believes that the mandatory levy, which is outlined in the UK’s Gambling Act white paper, could lead to shop closures and job losses.
The statutory levy would replace the current voluntary system, under which gambling operators make donations for gambling research, education, and treatment. The proposed levy would require online operators to contribute 1% of their annual revenue, while land-based companies would pay 0.4% due to higher operational costs.
While proponents argue that the levy would provide necessary funding for treatment organizations, JenningsBet and other opponents believe it could do more harm than good. Vicky Knight, JenningsBet’s head of safer gambling, expressed her concerns in a blog post, stating that the new measures might hinder the industry’s ability to support those in need.
Knight highlighted the disproportional impact of the 0.4% levy on retail operators, warning that it could result in layoffs and shop closures. She emphasized that the retail sector has already been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges, leading to the closure of numerous businesses.
Additionally, Knight pointed out disparities in the levy rates for different sectors, such as Family Entertainment Centers and the National Lottery, raising questions about fairness and equality in the proposed system.
In conclusion, Knight stated that JenningsBet is willing to pay its fair share but hopes that the government will consider the potential impact on independent bookmakers. The company is advocating for a more balanced approach to the levy to ensure the sustainability of small betting businesses and protect jobs in the industry.